Claire, Paraprofessional

Claire, School Librarian

Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Last week in the school library, we celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. I started out each class by asking the students what they already knew about MLK.  Some of them knew quite a lot, and others (depending on their age) not so much.  They were quick to volunteer what they did know: He was shot! He worked to make whites and blacks get along!  He had a dream!

I talked to them about what King’s dream was—that his children would not be judged by their skin color, but by their insides… “the content of their character.” Then I asked the students to write down what their dream for the future was: two sentences, please, or one sentence plus a picture for the younger students.  I let them know that the dreams would be posted in the library and in the hallway.

Asking kids about their dreams is exciting because you never know what you’re going to get. Some students were confused because they “could never remember their dreams when they woke up.”  This led to some discussion about the difference between your dreams at night, and the things that you hope about for the future.

Dreams ran the gamut from immediate (Claire will give me some candy) to long term (I want to go to college, get a job and take care of my family). There were a lot of future NBA/ NFL hopefuls, as well as potential nurses, teachers and doctors.  Some students wanted to meet (or beat) their icons, like Stephen Curry and Adele.  Others wanted to vote for a Native American presidential candidate.  And one kid wanted to go the evil genius route and rule the world. Bwa ha ha.

Many students had dreams of seeing better things in the world, like no war, bullying or ISIS. They would like people to stop fighting and doing drugs.  They dreamt of having their Lakota (Sioux) culture and language preserved, and of going to powwows and sewing regalia.  One student wished that single moms didn’t have to work so much that they couldn’t spend time with their kids.  Another dreamed of having lots of money so they could help out their family.

Some students were quite adamant that they had “no dreams.” I wasn’t quite sure whether they meant that they were in full-on despair, or that their “dream” was to avoid having to write two sentences.  Maybe both?

It is risky to talk about dreams, because maybe they won’t come true.  Or maybe people will laugh.  Or maybe their dreams have been stomped on enough that they aren’t worth having.  I don’t know.  I just dared them to dream anyway—even if it was just that we would have candy for lunch.

What I do know is this: being at St. Joseph’s helps these students reach for their dreams. They are able to be connected to their culture, get an education and give back to their communities.  Maybe playing for the St. Joseph’s Braves or the Chamberlain Cubs is their first step towards playing for the Golden State Warriors, and maybe graduating middle school/high school is their first step towards a teaching degree.

Thank you for supporting our students and staff as we reach for the future.


Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Good Day from St. Joseph’s Indian School!
You’ve heard the saying, ‘the king is dead, long live the king,’ and we’ve seen an indication of it here at St. Joseph’s!

Most of the Christmas decorations came down right after our Christmas celebration on January 10 and several decorations promoting St. Valentine’s Day went up – not just commercially, but on campus as well. There is a sign welcoming you to the infirmary with two big hearts, a set of lips and the greeting ‘hugs and kisses.’

St. Joseph’s staff participated in the annual Chili Cook Off yesterday. We have yearly contests to find the best chili and soup! Those entering need to make a good amount so the staff can come and taste the variety of entries. Staff make sure they come early so as not to miss out on the goodies! The various dishes were tasted by our judges and prizes were awarded.

As our second semester gets under way, we’d like to update you on how our recent grads, alumni and scholarship recipients are doing! Kyron, JaTonne and Angela are back in class for the second semester. RJ is working here in Chamberlain at Sanford Hospital. Shawn is in Yankton looking for work. Cody, a 2014 grad, is back in class at University of South Dakota. Erica is discerning what her next step will be.

Former alumni who are in class now and will be graduating this coming May are LaSheena at United Tribes in North Dakota with a degree in Business Administration; Larry at SE Tech in Winona, Minnesota with a degree in welding; and Whitney at SinteGleska will get a CDC in Human Resources. Andrea graduated from South East Technical School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in Nursing this past December and now has her LPN license

Those attending on St. Joseph’s scholarships are:
• Christopher at University of Minnesota in Morris pursuing a degree in Business Administration
• Ashely pursuing schooling in Cosmetology
• Terrell at Northern State in Aberdeen, South Dakotaearning a degree in Business Management
• Caressa at United Tribes pursuing a degree in Business Management
• Frankie at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota earning a Bachelor of Arts in Education and Human Services.

Thanks to your generosity, dreams are being achieved!

imageSt. Joseph’s recently participated in another acalympicscompetition, this time in Pierre, South Dakota. They competed against twelve schools in the subjects of Math, English, Music, Current Events and Science. Kathleen, our Principal, said the contest was very close and precious points were lost due to not spelling some answers correctly.

There is another one scheduled for March in White River, South Dakota, where we have been invited to send two teams.

This past Sunday, we held a Lakota Mass at Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel on campus. During this service, those in our Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC) became catechumens. We currently have 24 students getting ready to receive Sacraments in April when they get back from Easter Break! 17 of the students will receive the three Sacraments of Baptism, 1st Communion and Confirmation. Six have already been baptized and are preparing for First Communion. Of these six, two will be making a Profession of Faith by which they’ll join the Catholic Church. One of our High School Seniors is preparing for Confirmation. The Rite of Acceptance and Welcoming enables these students to let their fellow classmates know of their spiritual journey and ask for their prayers and support as they continue their preparation. We will be having a special retreat for them on February 13.

Please keep them in your prayers that they may continue to be open to hearing God’s gentle call to ‘Follow Him.”

I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. Stay warm! May God’s blessings be with you now and always.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

I offer thanks on behalf of our students here at St. Joseph’s who had the chance to celebrate Christmas this past Sunday. Our students received some wonderful gifts and they extend their thanks to you!

I had the chance to visit several of the homes and see the smiles and hear the giggles as packages were opened and everybody got a chance to see what Santa had brought.

Every home does things a bit differently. Some have breakfast after coming back from Mass; others tear right into the pile of gifts under the trees. Some open one at a time so that everyone gets the chance to see; others let everyone open at the same time.  Some homes have the same gifts for each student, while others have gifts of a similar type but geared for each individual.  (This was especially true among some of the older homes where sports caps were a key gift… allowing each student to show their support for a team or player.)

Star Wars items were also very popular, as many of the students were able to see the movie during the Christmas break. One home is all set for a Star Wars-themed camping trip as each student got a Star Wars pop up tent and sleeping bag.

Swimming goggles were the hit with several of the younger homes. They love to swim at St. Joseph’s rec center and had been complaining that the swimming pool chlorine was getting in their eyes.

One home even purchased a bicycle for each student!! They all wished it was warmer outside so they could go for a spin! I explained to them that they have something to look forward to in the spring.

We are grateful to you, our Benefactors, who contributed to the Christmas fund that enabled St. Joseph’s houseparents to serve as Santa’s elves! I wish you could have been present to see what happiness your generosity brought, but I hope these photos do the day justice!

Our Boys Basketball Season gets underway this coming Thursday as our 5th and 6th graders take on the students from Pierre Indian Learning Center (PILC). All teams, fourth grade through eighth grade, will be playing through the end of February. The boys have been practicing and look forward to showing off their skills!  We hope everyone has fun and that there will not be any serious injuries.

We usually act out the Nativity Story as part of the Sunday Liturgy before our Christmas celebration, but this year we found a cute video production that you might also want to take a look at. It is children telling the story, as they remember it, but adults acting out scenes. You can see it here.

I think you’ll enjoy it.

Again, thanks for your generosity. You truly helped to make our Christmas celebration here at St. Joseph’s something special.

May the Great Spirit’s blessings be with each of you throughout 2016.


Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

They’re BACK!!!   The Lakota students returned to St. Joseph’s campus this past weekend.  It is so good to have them back and encourage them as they jump into winter activities. Monday was a day for a teacher in-service, so those who were back early had the chance to go sledding on the snow.

We are scheduled to get some very cold and blustery weather this weekend, with temperatures just above zero and wind chills 20 to 30 degrees below zero.  I want to thank those who helped provide warm clothing for our students – it is really going to be used and appreciated this weekend!


Holy Year of Mercy Logo

On Tuesday, we started the third quarter with a prayer service. Our theme was Mercy, tying in with the Holy Year Pope Francis is asking the Church to celebrate this year. As you can see by the logo, the Good Shepherd comes in search of us to forgive our straying and puts us on His shoulders to bring us back into relationship with God and one another.

Congrats to the students in Raphael and Dennis Homes! They did a project at Christmas, making ornaments and then selling them as a fundraiser.  They sold $44.00 worth of ornaments, which they quickly donated to a nonprofit that utilized it to feed over 200 people. We are proud of them!

We recently had sign-ups for the boys’ basketball teams. The 4th, 5th and 6th grade will start on January 14, and the 7th and 8th graders will begin a week later.  They are looking forward to getting underway and showing off the skills they learned in the Inter City Program they took part in before Christmas.

We are also busy organizing cheerleaders and members of the Pep Squad, a group of younger students who belt out cheers during the games! We hope the weather allows our boys to get in all their games.

The efforts of the staff at the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center continue to be recognized. They recently were honored by the State of South Dakota for their hospitality and friendliness to visitors and guests.  They also continue to get very nice reviews from those who stop in to visit the museum.  If you would like to read some of them, you can go on-line and check them out at

Since it is going to be very cold here, I thought I might put in another plug for our next donor luncheon, which is coming up on the weekend of January 16-17 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Two of our high school girls will be attending along with some St. Joseph’s staff. They are excited to meet you and answer any questions you may have. If you are able to join us or would like more information, visit or call 1-800-584-9200.

I hope everyone’s 2016 is off to a flying start. May God’s blessing be with you to bring good health, much happiness and many interesting experiences during this election year.


Fr. J. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ


Greetings from St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Guess what! It has been snowing again; but this time we avoided being in the bullseye. We received several inches of snow on Christmas afternoon, but our grounds crew did a fantastic job removing the snow from the roads. Today we are getting some gentle flurries.

The Chamberlain Cubs were scheduled to host an East-West basketball tournament yesterday, bringing in schools from across South Dakota, but the threat of snow caused the schedule to begin today.

You may recall that our Lakota Hand Games team had been practicing to defend the championship they won last year at the Lakota Nation Invitational gathering in Rapid City, South Dakota. Sadly they did not do as well this year. We also sent a Knowledge Bowl team to compete against other schools. The team won their first contest but then dropped into the losers’ bracket and could not work their way through to play for the title. Once a team is ousted, each member of the team can take part in a specific category and answer questions and write an essay on their topic. This year one of our juniors, Justin, took part in the Literature category and won first place. Way to go, Justin!!

The archery team boasted a couple place winners:

  • Camron placed 1st in High School Boys Bare Bow
  • Danielle earned 4th place in High School Girls Bare Bow
  • Samantha placed 4th in Middle School Girls Bare Bow

Congratulations archers!

Since our students are away on their Christmas Break, I can share some events that have happened over the last few weeks. Our sixth, seventh and eighth graders participating in Explorers completed their first semester ‘Chores’ project. Through their hard work, the students raised $1,700 for a local resident who is fighting cancer! There was a picture in our local papers of all the members of the club surrounding the beneficiary who had a big smile on their face.

Just before the Break, those who will be serving as bowling captains held a draft of the students who wish to bowl in the upcoming league. There will be about 8 students on each team. Four of the eight will bowl each week. It will be up to the captains to select who will bowl and up to the students to remain eligible academically. There will be about six or seven weeks of bowling.

Also on the sports front, I was informed by our athletic director, Bryan, that one of our seniors, Daves, has been selected to participate in the South Dakota All State football game this coming summer due to his defense, kick returning and receiving capabilities. Congratulations Daves! I believe this is a St. Joseph’s first.

Vickie, the gift shop supervisor at the Akta Lakota Museum and Cultural Center, was the guest speaker at the Chamberlain Kiwanis luncheon meeting recently.

Vickie filled in for the Museum Director, Dixie, who was snowed in that day. Vickie has been with the museum for 18 years. She shared with those attending information on some of the artists we have on display—Arthur Amiotte, Oscar Howe, Robert Penn, Andrew Standing Soldier, Don Ruleaux and Don Montileaux. She mentioned how schools from various parts of the state come for visits. During these visits, our museum staff help them develop a better awareness and understanding of the history of the Native People. She was happy to inform the Kiwanis that approximately 25,000 visitors came through the facility this past year, a 12% increase!

Hope Santa was good to everyone. On behalf of St. Joseph’s Indian School’s students and staff, I would like to extend our best wishes to you and yours for a very Joyous, Peaceful, Healthy and Happy New Year. May God’s blessings be with you now and throughout 2016.

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ



Donna, Executive Director of Corporate Services

Humbling. That’s the best word I can find.

Today we had the biggest volume of incoming mail in months. Practically all of it consisted of gifts, well-wishes and Christmas greetings, all from our generous supporters.

St. Joseph’s Indian School strives to acknowledge all donations in short order. This can be a challenge when volumes are large.  Because the quantity of mail was so great today, our Mail Processing staff sent out an SOS for assistance in sorting.  Feeling confident that no one would miss me at my desk for an hour or two, I headed to the sorting room.

Tray upon tray of mail greeted me when I arrived. A number of other staff members were already at work sorting the mail according to size.  This process enables the pieces to be fed properly into the machine which automatically opens the envelopes.

I saw return addresses from all over the country. Many envelopes had hand-written holiday greetings.  Others had a colorful array of Christmas stamps. One poor wrinkled-looking envelope had an  address that was barely legible.  I said a silent prayer to the Post Office for their diligence in getting all of that wonderful mail to us, including those pieces with challenges.

What I felt with each piece of mail that I handled was a deep respect for our supporters. Those envelopes showed me that our benefactors care.  That so many people from so many places believe in our mission in little Chamberlain, South Dakota, and the work we do with the Lakota students is very humbling.

I thank you.



Executive Director of Corporate Services

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

IT’S BACK!!!!  Just when we thought we might be getting over the snow, the third storm in three weeks nailed us. Interstate 90 was closed from Chamberlain to Rapid City– a stretch of about 200 miles.

The big event this past weekend was the Student Christmas Store! The store is a yearly tradition that allows our students to “shop” for their loved ones before Christmas break begins. Our students come with their lists and circle the store a few times before they make their final decisions!

Staff was on hand to help our students pick out just the right gift for their loved ones at home.  Once their shopping was complete, they moved to the skating room where other staff members helped them wrap their treasures.

There was also time for goodies and pictures with Santa!

Members of the National Honor Society and students in the Raphael and David Homes got into the spirit of helping others. The NHS students recently sponsored a bake sale to raise money for the food bank here in Chamberlain and the Homes sold handmade tree decorations to support a fundraiser on behalf of Fighting Hunger in South Dakota. The goodies at the bake sale were delicious, and the decorations caught everyone’s fancy and sold out quickly!

Recent bad weather kept pushing our Healing Camp back, but we were able to hold it this past Monday and Tuesday. St. Joseph’s Healing Camp is open to any student and their family members who are dealing with a recent loss of a loved one.  There are various activities they take part in to help them talk about their feelings and emotions.

The yearly camp ends with a traditional wiping of the tears ceremony by a local elder.  It is one way for St. Joseph’s to show support and encouragement as our students deal with the passing of a loved one who now walks the Holy Road.

Our grade school students have recently been given chance to experience the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Their religious education teacher, Joe, and I set it up so the students could come to the Sacrament during their religious education class time. Fr. Bernard Rosinski, SCJ was available to assist as well! The students were given the chance to receive either the Sacrament (if Catholic) or a blessing (if not Catholic).

We know everyone gets so excited about getting the externals—gifts, cards, etc.—ready for Christmas but sometimes we forget to get ourselves ready.  This was an opportunity for them to make sure there will be room in their hearts to welcome the Christ Child.


St. Joseph’s Spelling Bee Winners!

Just as I finished with the last class, the spelling bee began as a way to determine who will represent St. Joseph’s in the state spelling bee in Mitchell, South Dakota. The three students pictured will be representing St. Joseph’s! If they perform well enough, their spelling skills could eventually take them to the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC!!


Our students left for Christmas Break last Friday and are enjoying spending time with family and friends at home. We hope your plans give you the opportunity to be with your loved ones as we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace.


Happy Holidays!!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ




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